By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) All it will take is one order, perhaps from somewhere far north, and John McDonough will have found truth in idiom.
The ultimate marketer must be aware he could then fulfill the ultimate transaction in the coming days, by actually selling ice to an Eskimo.
There has to be one guy who has the $99 to shell out for one of the 2,013 vials of melted United Center ice made available by the Blackhawks, one native or descendant of the indigenous people already consumed with all things ‘Hawks – the bobbleheads lined up on the dresser, the car-flags, the 88 jersey with his own name on it, and the “Chelsea Dagger” text-notification.
Because…you know, he’s really Inuit.
The fact that the money will go to Blackhawks charities insulates them from any real criticism, here, of course. If somebody’s willing to spend for a glass tube full of water, go ahead. It’s helping people. That it garners some free, lighthearted publicity in places such as this is the side benefit.
And how do we know that this is actually the real, championship ice? Glad you asked. Rest easy, because there is an accompanying certificate of authenticity, signed by none other than that noted, internationally-accepted, independent, experienced, professional ice-authenticator: John McDonough. So it HAS to be true.
This is just in time for the holiday season, too, accelerated for some fans because the first night of Hanukkah is on the day before Thanksgiving this year because of lunar-calendar something or other. So after the president has the traditional ceremony pardoning a potato-pancake and some of us sit down to commemorate the Maccabean revolt against the Pilgrims, we can give Grandpa a couple ounces of hockey history.
So many possibilities with this.
A bespectacled, insouciant Logan Square bartender who refers to himself as a “mixologist” will sell a fifteen-dollar cocktail that includes the new ingredient, served in a replica Stanley Cup. You will not want to spend any time around anyone who would be seen drinking it.
Re-freeze it into a tiny rink, complete with lines, dasher-boards and miniature plastic panels. Perfect for fruit flies against fleas, or a shootout showdown of Theo Fleury versus Darren Pang. Better yet, real-life Mite Hockey!
Somebody will just uncap the thing and guzzle it the moment he realized what he’s been given. In his drunken haze he’ll imagine incorporating championship essence forever into his physical being, like Ponce de Leon discovering the Fountain of Youth, conveniently unmindful that he’s also consuming a decent amount of blood and snot.
Applied sparingly, it may be used medicinally to either grow hideous, unoriginal facial hair or relieve soreness. We all have those days where we come downstairs in the morning thinking “My lower body hurts,” or needing to close our eyes and lie down for a while because of a stress-induced “upper body ache.”
Exorcisms, too. You get home and your daughter’s bedroom furniture is flying around, her eyes are rolling back in her head, and she’s levitating, screaming French-Canadian insults at an imaginary Don Koharski. Put on your cassock, fling some droplets of the blessed liquid at her, and the noxious spirit of Alain Vigneault shall be driven away. It also works on household pets possessed by Dino Ciccarelli.
That urn of ashes on the mantel can finally be put to good use, simultaneously reuniting a lost relative with his beloved team. Just mix in a little melted ice to make a thick brown slurry, and old Uncle Herb is now trusty spackle for filling basement cracks!
Best of all, the tube can host a colony of novelty aquarium pets. For a small extra fee, you can send in for a packet of dried “Hockey Monkeys” that spring instantly to life when poured in. Within days, you can enjoy watching these gritty creatures battle in the corners, do all the little things, and fight amongst themselves to “send a message” and “change momentum.”
McDonough will have no problem making the $199,287 possible from this venture, and probably quickly enough to make him re-think the price-point.
If PT Barnum was legendarily correct, there will be enough buyers born to sell out in the next 33.55 hours.